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Reinstate Driving Privileges

If your driving privileges have been suspended, revoked or disqualified, learn what each action means and how to get back behind the wheel.

Pay Fees Online

You may pay certain reinstatement fees online. Find out if you’re eligible.

If you’re applying for a Virginia driver's license and your driving privilege is currently suspended, revoked or disqualified in another state, you must first reinstate your driving privileges there before you can get a Virginia license.

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A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges in Virginia.

Once you comply with the terms of your suspension, including all reinstatement requirements, DMV will reinstate your driver's license.

Reasons for Suspension

There are many different reasons your driving privileges can be suspended, including, but not limited to:

  • Failing to either:
    • Properly insure and maintain insurance coverage, as required by law, on a motor vehicle that was issued valid license plates, or
    • Pay the required uninsured motor vehicle fee
  • Failing to complete a driver improvement clinic
  • Failing to pay child support
  • A court order based on a reckless driving conviction
  • Providing alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person
  • Excessive accumulation of demerit points related to convictions for traffic violations (Driver Improvement (DI) Program)
  • The presence of a physical and/or mental condition that impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle
  • Failing to satisfy an outstanding judgment related to a motor vehicle crash

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A revocation is the complete termination of your driving privileges in Virginia.

Once you comply with the terms of your revocation, you must take all applicable knowledge and skills tests, and pay for a new license.

Reasons for Revocation

Most revocations are related to convictions for serious traffic violations or criminal offenses, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle
  • Taking a driver's license test for another person, or appearing as another person to renew his or her license
  • Providing false information in order to obtain a driver's license
  • Non-motor vehicle related drug violations
  • Making a bomb threat
  • Felony violations in which a motor vehicle was used
  • Failure to stop and disclose your identity at the scene of a crash
  • Three demerit-point convictions for violations (including safety belt and child restraint violations) committed while under age 18

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A disqualification is the equivalent of a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges for commercial driver's license (CDL) holders.

This action can result in the temporary or complete termination of your privilege to operate commercial motor vehicles, depending on the nature of the traffic violations or criminal offenses that led to the disqualification.

Reasons for Disqualification

CDL Disqualifications are mandated by both state and federal law and are categorized into four groups:

  • Serious Offenses, which include:
    • Excessive speeding
    • Driving recklessly
    • Making improper or erratic lane changes
    • Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) without a CDL
  • Major Offenses, which include:
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Leaving the scene of a crash
    • Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV
  • Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Offenses, which include:
    • Failing to slow or stop, as required by law, at a railroad crossing
    • Failing to obey a traffic control device or enforcement official at a railroad crossing
    • Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance
  • Violations of Out-of-Service Orders, which include:
    • Continuing to operate a CMV after it has been place "out-of-service" by an authorized enforcement official and determined to be a danger to public safety

Does a disqualification affect regular driving privileges?

If you are convicted of a violation that also applies to regular driving privileges, your regular driving privileges may also be suspended or revoked. CDL disqualifications can also be based on traffic violations you receive while operating a privately owned (non-commercial) motor vehicle.

See Code of Federal Regulations for the current federal disqualification regulations, and Code of Virginia for the current state statutes.

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Reinstatement Requirements

Reinstatement requirements can vary depending on your individual circumstances.

If your driving privileges were suspended or revoked, DMV will mail you a letter that explains exactly what you need to do to reinstate your privileges.

If you lost or never received a letter, you can request a Compliance Summary and a personal Driver Transcript from our records department. Together, both documents cover your specific reinstatement requirements.

If you’re working with the court or other legal entities to reinstate your driving privileges, we highly recommend providing them with a compliance summary and a driver transcript.

Disclaimer: The compliance summary is not an official transcript of your driving record. It is a summary of requirements designed to assist in complying with orders of revocation, suspension, disqualification or cancellation, as of the date issued.

Common Reinstatement Requirements

Examples of requirements that may be satisfied without appearing in person at a DMV customer service center:

  • Examples of requirements that must be satisfied by appearing in person at a DMV customer service center:
    • Provide proof of identification, residency and/or legal presence
    • Take any applicable knowledge and road skills tests
    • Provide a court order allowing restricted driving privileges

  • Pay Fees Online

    You may pay certain reinstatement fees online. Find out if you’re eligible.

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